Hi, I’m Daniel from Rtings.com. In this video we will go over how to setup and get the best picture from the TCL P Series whether you watch movies or HDR content, play games or use it as a monitor. This is the P607, however the settings also apply for the P605 which has the same picture quality but only a basic remote.
The basic remote of the P605 looks almost the same, but lacks a headphone jack. For a quick summary of the settings we recommend, see the screenshots on our website which is linked in the description below.
When turning on the TV for the first time, you’ll be asked if you want to connect it to the internet. This is required if you want to use the TV apps, but also requires creating a Roku account and linking it to the TV.
If you don’t want to use the smart features then this isn’t necessary though. Now, connect your devices. There are 3 HDMI ports on this TV and one composite input for older devices which can be connected with the included adapter.
If you’ve got a receiver or soundbar with support for ARC then you should connect it to HDMI3. This allows you to use the Audio Return Channel to pass audio from apps or other inputs through your external speakers.
For all other devices, connect them to any of the inputs as they are all identical. With your inputs connected, the first thing you’ll want to do is change the HDMI mode to match your source. To do so, press the Home button on the remote and scroll down to ‘Settings’ -> ‘TV Inputs’ and set ‘HDMI Mode’ to ‘HDMI 2.
0’. This allows for the maximum bandwidth on the HDMI port, but if you experience compatibility issues with older devices then you can set it to HDMI 1.4. You can also rename the device which will change how it appears in menus.
If you’re using the TV as a PC monitor then you can set the name to ‘Computer’ and this will ensure Chroma 4:4:4 support for clear text, although the TV usually detects a PC automatically and will ensure that full chroma information is displayed regardless of the input icon.
Other sources are not detected automatically. Next we will adjust the picture settings. You can also do this through the Roku app, which is linked in the description below. Go to your input device first and press the asterix button on the remote to access the picture options.
The see the effect of each of these settings, we will be using measurements from our TCL TV. The white level is the brightness of the TV, measured on a checkerboard pattern. The TV Brightness setting can be adjusted to suit your room.
It works in combination with the ‘Backlight’ setting to set the overall screen brightness, without affecting the picture quality. For our calibration, we will set it to Brighter. The ‘Picture Mode’ should be set to ‘Movie’ for the most accurate image, even if you are playing video games or using it as a monitor as they all have the same low input lag once you make the rest of the settings that we will go over later.
When watching HDR content, set it to HDR Dark’ as it is closest to the reference ‘Picture Size’ adjusts the scaling of the TV. For most content you can leave it at auto, but if you’d like to crop letterbox bars in movies or find you are losing some of the image due to overscan then you can adjust this option.
For the rest of the picture settings, press right on the ‘Advanced Picture Settings’ option. ‘Picture Mode’ is the same as before. ‘Local contrast’ is the local dimming option, which allows zones of the backlight to adjust depending on the content and produces deeper dark scenes when viewed in a dark room.
It works decently on this TV, so we recommend setting it to ‘High’, but if you do find it slow to react to sudden scene changes then you can set this to a lower value or disable it. ‘Dynamic Contrast’ is disabled when local dimming or game mode are on, we don’t usually recommend it as it produces a less accurate image.
When local contrast is disabled and dynamic contrast is adjusted, it affects the gamma curve as shown, which produces brighter dark scenes. The ‘Backlight’ option works in tandem with ‘TV Brightness’ to adjust the overall brightness level of the screen.
For SDR content you can set this to suit your room and it won’t degrade the image. For HDR though, you should set it to maximum for the brightest highlights. We will set it to 4 for this average room calibration, which corresponds to about 200 nits.
The ‘Brightness’ option affects the black level. We can measure the black of our checkerboard pattern to see how they are affected. If we decrease it then we can see that black details are crushed, whereas raising it past 50 results in blacks that appear gray as the black level is raised.
We’ve found that the default value of 50 is best. The contrast option affects the brightness range of the display. Low values lower the native contrast ratio as whites are limited. Too high values will result in clipping of bright highlights.
We’ve found that 95 is a good value without the risk of clipping details. The ‘Sharpness’ option can be useful for low quality content to produce a sharper image. Too much sharpness will introduce ringing around edges and other artifacts though.
For high quality content the value of 0 is best, which corresponds to no added sharpness. The ‘Color’ option affects the tone mapping of the display. To see the effect of this setting, we look at a CIE xy diagram.
Squares on the diagram show the target points, which an accurate display should achieve. Circles show measurements from our TCL P Series. We can see that low color values result in a washed out or bland image as the measurement points all lie inside the targets.
On the other hand high values result in an oversaturated image as the measurement points exceed the target saturation. A value is 45 is best for the most accurate image. The tint option has the affect of rotating the color palette as can be seen in the same CIE xy diagram.
This should almost always be left to the default value of 0 as it is the most accurate, and an incorrect setting is most noticeable in reddish or greenish skin tones. The ‘Color Temperature’ option adjusts the white point of the display.
We can see that cooler values result in a bluer overall image and cause all of the measured points to shift to the down and left in the plot. You can use this cooler setting if you prefer more pop. Warm values result in a reddish or yellowish image.
We calibrate to the standard 6500K color temperature which corresponds to a value of ‘Warm’. The ‘Game Mode’ option disables some settings but also reduces the input lag, which is ideal for gaming.
If you use a console or PC then enable this setting for the most responsive performance. Now these are all the picture settings available on the TV, but if you use the Roku app on an iOS or Android device then there are a few more advanced settings available.
The ‘Gamma’ setting affects the relationship between dark and bright areas. We can measure this gamma curve to see the effect. A high gamma value results in deeper dark scenes and a lower value results in a brighter overall image.
The left hand side of the plot affects darker scenes, while the right hand side affects bright scenes. Setting the ‘Gamma’ to lower values such as 1.8 or 2.0 results in a brighter overall image, which can be useful to bring out details in a bright room.
Higher values such as 2.4 produce deeper dark scenes. Movies are mastered to target a flat value of 2.2 across the range so this is what we aim for, but strangely for this TCL TV a setting of 2.0 actually tracks closer to the 2.
2 target. The ‘Noise Reduction’ option can be useful to reduce noise in low resolution content. It will produce a slightly softer image though, so we recommend disabling it for high quality content.
The 11 point white balance and colorspace options allow for an advanced calibration with measurement equipment. The best values for this change from unit to unit due to panel variance, so although we post our values on the review for reference we don’t recommend copying them and most people should leave them all to the default value of 0.
So that’s it. You can find the screenshots of all the settings we recommend on our website via the link below. And if you like this video, subscribe to our channel, or become a contributor, Thanks for watching, and see you next time.